FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Easter Screenings of Rock Opera Jesus Christ Superstar in Local Theatres
LOS ANGELES (February 27, 2013) It’s Easter season! Now 40 years after its first release in 1973 this modern passion play re-imagined into the magnetic Broadway musical by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber (with poignant lyrics by Tim Rice) and immortalized into film by Writer/Director Norman Jewison, will be on Laemmle Theatre big screens around town for one night only, March 28, 2013 at 7:30pm iincluding Laemmle’s 4-Plex Santa Monica and Laemmle’s Royal Theatre, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., West LA.
Critic Roger Ebert wrote, Jewison’s characters…” inhabit the desert freely, enacting their story as if it were not the central event in the Christian religion but rather the interesting career of a promising young man.”
Set during the week leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus, the film uniquely explores the unasked question: Why did Judas betray Jesus?
An emotional exploration of conflicted relationships between flesh and blood people rather than icons, the film Jesus Christ Superstar travels the terrain of the seduction and challenges of destiny, celebrity, friendship, fear, love, passion, and our notions of success and failure with great aplomb.
Both Ted Neely who portrayed Jesus and Carl Anderson who portrayed Judas (in the film as well as on Broadway) were both nominated for Golden Globe Awards for the searing insights they gave us into the heart and soul of these Biblical figures.
But before the film (itself based on the staged rock opera on Broadway), came the vinyl. Released as a single in January 1971, “Superstar” made it to the top 15. A month later, Helen Reddy’s version of “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” – her first hit single – also reached the top 15. The recording of the same song from the original show album released as a single in April 1971, also made the top 30.
The album spent close to two years on the charts, including three weeks at No.1 in 1971. Consider this: other No.1 albums that year included John Lennon’s “Imagine,” George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass,” Janis Joplin’s “Pearl,” Carole King’s “Tapestry,” “Sticky Fingers” by The Rolling Stones, and “Four Way Street” (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.)
Meanwhile, the film rocked cultural, religious and secular opinions of its significance and place within society, and so was argued and discussed vehemently on all sides. Educational forums held after-screening symposiums, sermons were delivered, articles were written, the Vatican radio station played the music but the Vatican newspaper did not speak of it.
Passion plays throughout history have been popular as well as controversial since their inception in the 13th Century, and in this regard, Jesus Christ Superstar fits in nicely. Now movie-goers in Los Angeles will be able to see this big idea of a film on big screens again on March 28, 2013 at six Laemmle Theatres, 7:30pm.
All proceeds go to benefit the Carl Anderson Memorial Scholarship Fund. See AgapeLive.com and Laemmle.com for tickets.
Homage to Carl Anderson
The late Carl Anderson is best known for his celebrated star performance as Judas in “Jesus Christ, Superstar” on Broadway, in the motion picture, and on stages across the country while on tour. His role as the preacher in “The Color Purple,” his Emmy for “Onstage LA,” and performances with a host of outstanding artists including Nancy Wilson at Carnegie Hall, are also highlights in the life of this creative artist and open hearted man. His critically-acclaimed songs include “How Deep Does it Go,” “Friends and Lovers,” If I Could” and “Who Can I Turn To?” He continues to be a favorite on jazz radio.
Carl was an Angeleno transplant originally from Lynchburg, VA, who found his spiritual home at the Agape International Spiritual Center (Culver City) where he gave generously of his talent, and endearing presence. Founded in 2004, Agape’s Carl Anderson Memorial Scholarship Fund was established to support students pursuing careers in the arts and now assists all Agape students seeking higher education.
“Carl Anderson was a gifted actor, singer, dancer whose personal passion was to inspire youth in self-expression through the arts. Our scholarship fund is a continuation of his work encouraging students in education, creative freedom and self-actualization,” said Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith, Agape founder and spiritual director.
Dr. Rickie Byars Beckwith, director of the Agape Music and Arts Ministry, said “Carl was always encouraging toward higher heights in the arts. The scholarship established in his name gives us a way to celebrate a beautiful and magnificent life and helps keep the name of Carl Anderson alive in the hearts of those who loved him.”
Since 2004, The Carl Anderson Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $100,000 to deserving students.
Kristina F. Jordan, M.A.
JCS Event Executive Producer